Over seven feet tall and with a newfound ability to sense future events, Corinthia Bledsoe is far more than just another Midwestern high-school junior; she’s a force of nature. When she predicts with terrifying accuracy the outcome of a tornado that will hit her high school, leaving a cow standing midcourt in the Lugo Memorial field house, Corinthia finds herself at the epicenter of another kind of storm entirely. And as things get stranger and stranger — both in her small town and her own home — lives start to intersect in ways even Corinthia can’t foresee.
So begins Adam Rapp's highly acclaimed play Nocturne, in which a 32-year-old former piano prodigy recounts the tragic events that tore his family apart.
With a keen eye for human relationships and a deft ear for language, Rapp explores the aftershock of this unimaginable event. The father is so incapable of forgiveness he puts a gun in his son's mouth; the mother so shattered, she deserts the family and eventually takes leave of her sanity altogether; the son--only 17 years old at the time--sets out for New York City. There, he seeks an uneasy refuge in books and reinvents himself as a writer. Across the decade and a half that follows he tries to cope with the ramifications of his own anguish and estrangement while making a desperate search for redemption.
A devastating, elegant, and gripping dissection of the American dream, Nocturne signals a brave new voice in American theater.
Adam Rapp's plays have captivated audiences across the country with their unflinching explorations of the good, the bad, and the ugly in America's heartland and cities. Gathered here are three of his latest works: Faster, in which two young grifters try to strike a deal with the devil during the hottest summer on record; Finer Noble Gases, a lament for a band of arrested thirty-year-olds slouching toward adulthood amid East Village decay; and the Off-Broadway hit Stone Cold Dead Serious. An honest, strange, and humorous look at a blue-collar family struggling to survive in the face of disability and addiction, and the seemingly surreal lengths their teenage son will go to save them from themselves, the play prompted Bruce Weber to rave in The New York Times: "Rapp is very gifted, and, even rarer, he has something to say . . . Stone Cold Dead Serious [is] brave, compassionate, and . . . breathtakingly moving. It is the work of a playwright who is forging a real voice . . . Its rendering of the shared language of loved ones illustrates how families can remain intimate even when they are in shards. Its depiction of a working-class America that is unable to dream of anything beyond enduring is as sincerely sad a commentary on our culture as I've seen in recent memory. And its fear for young people is, unfortunately, deeply convincing."
"To watch The Hallway Trilogy by Adam Rapp is to enter an alternate universe . . . a carnival of the desperate, the grotesque, the outrageous."—The New York Times
"I knew in a single sentence that Adam was a writer the world was going to listen to for as long as he felt like writing. . . . Adam writes like nobody else, his fierce poetic power as inescapable as the doom that waits for his characters. The work is bleak and true, his touch that of a master in the making."—Marsha Norman
Multi-talented artist and provocateur Adam Rapp shocks and disturbs, weaving themes of love, suffering, and redemption throughout this alarming yet heartening critical examination of societal change. Spanning one hundred years in one Lower East Side tenement hallway, this series of connected plays—Rose, Paraffin, and Nursing—is a dark and compelling exploration of what binds people together and drives them apart. Packed with searing dialogue and harrowing narratives, The Hallway Trilogy "bristles with humor" and "contains some of Rapp's most sensitive and mature writing" (The New York Times).
Adam Rapp is a novelist, filmmaker, and an OBIE Award–winning playwright and director. His plays include the Pulitzer Prize finalist Red Light Winter, Nocturne, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Finer Noble Gases, Essential Self-Defense, and more. He is the author of many young adult novels such as Punkzilla, The Buffalo Tree, and Under the Dog, and the writer and director of the film Winter Passing, starring Zooey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, and Ed Harris.